President to speedup reburial of Gukurahundi victims

By ZBC Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to convene a “consensus-building meeting” with Matabeleland traditional leaders to co-ordinate and speed up exhumations and reburials of victims of Gukurahundi.
The exhumations and reburials of Gukurahundi victims were some of the key resolutions agreed between Government and Matabeleland civic groups and traditional leaders when they met with the President last year.

After the follow-up meeting held on February 14, it was established that progress on implementing last year’s resolutions which include the issuance of civil documents to surviving children of victims of the disturbances.
President Mnangagwa has since undertaken to oversee the implementation process.
Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Kazembe Kazembe led a Government delegation that included Registrar-General Clemence Masango and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Permanent Secretary Virginia Mabiza on Friday to lay the ground for the commencement of issuance of civil documents to surviving spouses and the victims’ children.
Permanent Secretary Mabiza, who is head of the secretariat in the engagement and dialogue with Matabeleland civic society organisations, said the delegation “shall mostly deal with logistics for providing birth certificates”.
“Most of the issues that are outstanding are to do with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Registrar-General, and that is to do with the issuance of birth and death certificates,” she said.
The team is set †o meet with the civic society leadership.
Government is reportedly exploring ways to facilitate legally and culturally acceptable processes.
Mabiza said: “On the other difficult issues such as exhumations and reburials, we will soon have a consensus-building meeting with chiefs, civic society groupings and other stakeholders, including the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, to plan the way forward.
“After the consensus-building exercise, we will then craft a way forward in terms of how to facilitate the exhumations.
“This will bring on board our development partners and any interested funders to bankroll the exercise.”
All the processes will reportedly be done within the confines of the law, which also entails drafting legal statutes to facilitate implementation.
However, the guidance would come out of the planned indaba.
“The consensus-building meeting shall involve His Excellency, but we do not have a date yet, but it is going to be very soon.
“You may be aware that we were expecting chiefs to attend the meeting that was held in Bulawayo, but unfortunately, due to some budgetary and other logistical challenges, the Ministry of Local Government (and Public Works) was not ready to sponsor the chiefs to be on board during that meeting.”
The law provides only for the Minister of Home Affairs to grant an order for exhumation.
Government has expanded the scope of engagements to include other civic organisations outside the ambit of the Matabeleland Collective.